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Ark. Court Rejects Challenge to First Lady's Law License

May 16, 2000|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Arkansas Supreme Court's disciplinary arm has decided not to institute proceedings against First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton that could have led to the revocation of her law license because of the Whitewater scandal.

A complaint by a conservative group, Landmark Legal Foundation, did not present "a sufficient basis" to initiate an investigation of the first lady, James Neal, executive director of the committee on professional conduct, wrote in a letter released Monday by Landmark.

The group asked for an inquiry after federal regulators found in 1996 that Mrs. Clinton, as a lawyer in Little Rock, Ark., created a real estate document later used by her Whitewater partners' savings and loan to deceive federal regulators. The document helped enable a payment of $300,000 in real estate commissions to the father-in-law of Mrs. Clinton's law partner, Webster L. Hubbell, on a failed land development called Castle Grande.

The conservative group never got a response to its initial complaint in 1996 due to what Neal said may have been a "mix-up or miscommunication."

Neal said that he evaluated the complaint in 1996 and rejected it, and that a disciplinary committee conducted a second review in the last month and reached the same conclusion.

Mark Levin, president of the Herndon, Va.--based conservative group, said the Arkansas disciplinary committee provides "no information justifying or explaining their latest decision for failing to investigate."

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